Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas as it nears landfall

Trump declares administration ‘completely ready’ for Hurricane Florence

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

More than 60 people were trapped in a collapsing hotel in North Carolina. Florence is now at the weakest of five categories on the Saffir-Simpson scale. On Wednesday, officials said some of those shelters were at capacity, but in a statement early Thursday, county officials said they were "able to mobilize additional resources to accommodate the need for shelter space". Sand dunes gone storm surge 4' into house knocking down walls first floor. Hurricane Florence will slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland. Hurricane-force winds extended 90 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 195 miles. Like a giant hair dryer, these winds push seawater into low-lying marshland and delta areas.

Heavy rain, wind gusts and rising floodwaters from Hurricane Florence swamped the Carolinas as the massive storm crawled toward the coast, threatening millions of people in its path with record rainfall and punishing surf. But while the storm is predicted to pass near Wilmington, North Carolina, the majority of surge-related flooding will actually be to north near Pamlico Sound. More than one million people had been ordered to evacuate the coasts of North and SC and Virginia and thousands moved to emergency shelters, officials said. But even much lower flood levels can be unsafe and reach surprisingly far inland, as The Weather Channel demonstrated in a stunning video released today. That makes it hard to project how the region will ultimately be affected.

More than 80,000 people were already without power as the storm began buffeting the coast, and more than 12,000 were in shelters.

"It's probably going to take another 24 hours" for Florence to pass through the Wilmington region, Reid Hawkins, science officer with the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, said at 5 a.m. Friday. But it will be a few years before this river data can be integrated into models like ADCIRC, according to Ed Clark, the director of NWS's National Water Center. Forecasters said that given the storm's size and sluggish track, it could cause epic damage akin to what the Houston area saw during Hurricane Harvey.

Reality Check: Is President Trump’s Puerto Rico Tweet Accurate?
She said at the time that back-to-back hurricanes past year prompted "the largest domestic disaster response mission in history". Trump said on Twitter that "they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths" at the time he visited the island after the storm.

The worst of the storm's fury had yet to reach coastal SC, where emergency managers said it was not too late for people to get out.

He added that people living near rivers, streams and lowland areas in the region were most at risk.

Some Carolinians have expressed frustration after evacuating their homes for a storm that was later downgraded - but officials have pushed back at suggestions that Florence's threat has been exaggerated. Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill.

"There is still time, but not a lot of time", said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Department of Emergency Management.

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